Micro Fiction: Be Better by Sara Codair

Note: This piece was originally written for Cracked Flash’s weekly writing contest. It didn’t win, but I still thought it was worth sharing since it is one of the first pieces I’ve written using gender neutral pronouns. I’ve been researching them for a while and often feel that if they were more known, I would rather use some neutral than she/her.

In the end, I think this piece was more of an excercise than a full story, but I’d love to hear what you all think of the Ey/Eir and how it worked in the piece. -Sara

Be Better
by Sara Codair

Eli, the captain of the guard, watched two figures silently move through the shadows. Ey unholstered eir blaster then stalked after them. Eir heart raced as they approached the supply house. The manager reported canned goods and medicine stolen, but no one had caught the culprit. Eli suspected that was because eir investigators pitied the fools who lived outside the compound.

The figures walked right past the supply house into the scrapyard. Nothing was reported stolen from there, though they rarely inventoried it since no one used cars. It was too dangerous for Eli’s people to leave the compound.

Ey followed the thieves right up to a rusty carcass of a pickup truck and waited until their heads vanished into the hood. Ey aimed eir blaster. “Freeze! Put your hands where I can see them.”

The two figures turned. Judging by their wrinkles, stubbly pale skin and flat chests, Eli guessed they were two middle aged white men – the kind of people that made it too dangerous for eir to live in out in the world.

“Please don’t shoot.” Both men dropped to their knees. “The government has gone nuts. We need your help.”

“Get off my property!” Eli undid the safety.

“Please let me take this. I’ll pay you back with labor. I have no money, my truck is broken, and my daughter needs to get to a hospital. She’s has a major infection.”

Part of Eli wanted to send the men away, reject them in the same way society had rejected eir, but as ey watched them look at her like they were praying to some forgotten god, ey couldn’t do it. “Take the part and bring your daughter here. We have doctors, and could use some help turning over the fields next week.”

Flash Fiction: George and the Fatal Mistake

Earlier in the week, I blogged about a rejection I received for this story. No matter what I tell myself, at the end of the day, it really is fan fiction, and I need to stop sending it to places that don’t publish fan fiction. It belongs here, on my blog, where any one can read it for free and get a laugh, or shiver, from it. If your not a Star Wars fan, you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, enjoy!

-Sara

George and the Fatal Mistake

By Sara Codair

George felt sick as he walked down the red carpet. It should’ve been like walking on a low gravity planet full of cuddly Ewoks, but it was more like wearing lead shoes while trudging across the molten Mustafar. His wife’s arm was threaded through his. Lights flashed. Cameras clicked like a Killik army, clicking their pincers and mandibles as they marched.

His skin was crawling by the time he took his seat. Normally, he would’ve seen every cut of a Star Wars movie before it premiered, but he gave those rights away when he sold his franchise. He hadn’t known about the new books until he saw one on the shelf in the grocery store and he was being left out of the brainstorming meetings for the Clone Wars cartoon. The public was under the impression he didn’t care, that he had washed his hands of Star Wars. The public didn’t know shit.

Contrary to what most people thought, Star Wars had never really been his. There were guidelines it was supposed to follow and George feared Disney had thrown those in the trash compactor. He never meant to give up all control.

#

The screening confirmed his fears. Sweat dripped down his forehead, and he couldn’t hold his popcorn down another second. Abandoning his seat, he went straight to the single stall bathroom.

No matter how many times he hit the switch, the bulb wouldn’t illuminate. His cheeks tingled. His throat tightened. He stumbled towards the toilet in the dark, sunk to his knees and heaved. His throat burned as half-digested popcorn and Coke spewed from his mouth. A cane tapped on the tile floor, followed by a shrill, frog-like laugher.

“A long time, it has been,” croaked the voice.

George turned around and saw the demon he had sold his soul to over thirty years ago. It was barely three feet tall, with wrinkled green skin, glowing red eyes and pointy ears.

“Remember me, you do. Good.” The green devil took a step forward.

George nodded, staring at the being that inspired Yoda. With its tattered brown robe, tan tunic, stick cane and light saber, it looked like it had just hobbled of off the set of The Empire Strikes Back. Of course, the fictional Yoda’s eyes had never glowed that hellish red.

“A deal we had. Keep it, you did not,” continued the creature. “Thought you could cheat me, did you?”

George shook his head, backed away. He hadn’t intended to break the deal; he just wanted to retire and enjoy his wife before he got so old and shriveled that she started hiding his Viagra. Selling the franchise had been the best way to do that. It satisfied the fans’ demand for more and gave him billions to retire on.

“Appear in the new movies, I did not.” The creature rose off of the ground and hovered mere inches away from George, so they were eye to eye. “Dead, they will think I am. Power, I will lose.”

“You’re still in the other six.” George scrambled to mollify the monster’s wrath. “You were a Force Ghost in Return of the Jedi. They know you’re not gone. Your name was mentioned in the books hundreds of times. You’re in the Clone Wars shows. People remember you. They adore you and quote your lines like scripture.”

“Yet, mentioned in this movie, I am not. Sold me to my enemies, you did. Destroy me the Faeries will, now that my image they own.”

“Fa-faeries?” Breathing became difficult; he didn’t know if it were nerves or if the creature was Force choking him. It didn’t need hand motions like Vader or the Emperor. Those had been purely for the benefit of the audience.

“Mmmm….Own Disney, the Faerie Courts do.” The creature placed a three-fingered hand on George’s chest. Its fingernails were long, black and sharp enough to pierce through George’s tux and draw blood with the lightest touch. “Punishment, I must extract.”

“Please!” George sunk to his knees. “I didn’t know. I’ll get it back. I’ll do anything. Just please don’t hurt me!”

“Too late, it is,” cackled the creature. He dug his claws into George’s chest and pulled.

George felt his skin tear and screamed. It wasn’t loud enough to drown out the slurping, sucking and chewing until fangs pierced his heart and the world went black.

#

When the crossroads demon was done feasting on the traitor’s flesh, he took on the appearance of the dead man. He brushed the dust of off his pants as he got up and walked into the hall, in search of someone who could fix George’s mistake.

“Do just fine, this one will,” he muttered to himself before he offered to buy JJ Abrams a drink.

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Micro Fiction: Bullet Hole in a Yellow Window

Bullet Hole in a Yellow Window

By Sara Codair

Congealed sugar crystals.

Bubbles captured in amber.

Spider webs waiting to trap unsuspecting flies.

A perfectly round path to another world where your blood isn’t splattered all over the sofa, sinking into the deepest part of the cushion staining pure white stuffing red.

In that other world you’re still smiling at me, laughing with me and loving everything about me. In that other world, I’m free to love you out in the open, free to live a hundred years by your side.

“You have the right to remain silent,” says the man in this world, encircling my wrist in metal.

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I wrote this story for the 100 word story photo challenge back in August. They never posted a winner for August, but you can see the photo here if you want: https://www.facebook.com/100wordstory/photos/a.374368579247657.94462.213141275370389/1298620266822479/?type=3&theater

An Image can go a Long Way

The first week of national novel writing month has passed, and so has a shocking election. While I try to cope with the results and their implications, my writing is keeping me from going insane.

Taking a little time away from the actually writing to create a cover  image for my NaNoWriMo2016 novel, Like Birds Under the City Sky has not only helped me de-stress, but it is also boosting my drive to finish and revise this novel.

like-birds-under-the-city-sky-cover

When Micah’s mother finds out he is gay, she tries to force him into conversion therapy. His boyfriend, Charlie, gets a job so they can leave their parents, their town and it’s prejudices behind as soon as Mica turns 18. Unfortunately, Charlie’s job isn’t what he expected.

Instead of living in their own apartment and moving on with their lives, the two boys find themselves hiding out in an abandoned subway tunnel scavenging in dumpsters while they struggle to survive and evade the sinister men in suits who are hunting Charlie. 

Seeing something that vaguely resembles a book cover, even one made with extremely basic tools like iPhoto and Google Draw, reminds me that the narrative and character chaos I’m calling a first draft will one day turn into a book. Hopefully, it will be one I see on the shelf when I go into local book stores.

For now, it’s just a “shitty first draft,” but the image reminds me that is just the starting point, the universal starting point from which all literature springs.

 

Publication and Politics

For the past few years, I had been living under a metaphorical rock. Things like the news, current, events, and politics gave me panic attacks. Last year, I had a wake up call and realized that ignoring  the news wasn’t making it any less scary.

I used to show my students a documentary called “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” shortly before having them write an essay about marketing and advertising. Donald Trump is briefly interviewed in that movie about the profitability of co-promotion. The first few times I showed, no one really even noticed him, but in Fall 2015, that changed. The second he appeared on screen, my students booed him.

At this time, I knew Trump was running for president, but I didn’t take him seriously. I had heard he was racist, and that he was ignorant, but I knew very little about him.

As the semester went on, I heard the students talking more and more about him, his racism, his anti-immigration policies, and his wall. Soon enough, I found my self slowly getting pulled back into the world of current events. I had to know if this guy for real, and if he had any chance of winning.

I started by reading articles that my more educated friends had shared of Facebook. As I reinvented my twitter account to network with other writers and publishers, I followed politicians and news organizations. Eventually, I was looking at their tweets and reading articles on a daily basis.

I came out of my cave. I became informed about the elections, about the environmental issues that were keeping me up at night, and about the human rights / labor rights violations taking place around the world.

Then some beautiful happened. I realized I didn’t need to go out and campaign or donate money to foster change. The bits and pieces of news I consumed were starting to seep their way into my writing. Whether I was imaging an America where health care was sold like a phone or vacation package, an earth without bee’s, or steampunk America where woman never won the right to vote, I could take my fears, my nightmares of a world gone wrong, and share them with everyone.

The first of these stories was published today in an anthology titled “Its All Trumped Up.” This is a collection of stories from writers all around the world that uses fiction to explore nine different ways a Trump presidency could affect the world. Please support us by read and sharing!

No matter what your political views are, please, please, please exercise your right to vote this November! And if your not American, you can still read, and you can use the social media to make your voice heard. We live in a globalized society. This election will have implications far beyond American borders.

 

You Can’t Bribe The Dead — Magical Realism

I just had another story go live!

What happens when some one is being haunted by two ghosts, one of which was a computer genius in life?

Read my story to find out!

Thanks!

Sara

 

Corruption was a drug and Mario was hooked. He bought the building inspector whisky to ensure his permit was approved. A $100 bill got him out of a speeding ticket. A steady stream of pizza kept the zoning board at bay. He took a selfie on his land the day conservation approved his appeal. In […]

via You Can’t Bribe The Dead — Magical Realism

Micro Fiction: Succession

So now that I am no longer judging cracked flash, I get to enter again. That means a fresh wave of stories posted here, since in order to enter my favorite, prize-less weekly contest, I make my stories “published” by posting them in the comments section that anyone can see, which means no lit mag will publish them, so you, my readers, get to enjoy them for free!

Succession
By Sara Codair

“I don’t want to be worshiped–I want to terrify!” Prince Corvinstin flipped the table, spilling wine, gravy and meat on his counselors.

“That is not wise.” Dr. Banfiend wiped dripping gravy off of his robe. “Fear breeds rebellion. Worshipers are less likely to start an uprising.

Prince Corvinstin threw his knife across the table. Fortunately for Dr. Banfiend, the prince had terrible aim.

“I’ve been serving your family for seventy years, young Dale, and I will not tolerate your violence.”

“Yes,” laughed Prince Corvinstin. “You’ve been serving, as you will continue to do. Now tell me, how can I scare the foul farmers into submission?”

The counselors exchange looks, nodding at Dr. Banfiend. “Your great-grandfather also preferred fear. He had a mechanical dragon that he would fly over the villages, torching the ones those that refused to pay taxes.

Prince Corvinstin grinned. “That sounds horrifically delightful. Show me this dragon.”

“As you wish.” Banfiend lead the young prince to the castle’s deepest dungeon.

“It is through there,” he said pointing to a massive black door.

Prince Corvinstin took out his master key and opened it. Dr. Banfiend shoved him in and slammed the door shut behind him. He locked it, then leaned his back against the cold steel. He listened to heavy foot steps, the prince wailing in disbelief then screaming like a little girl, and finally, the sizzling of burning flesh.

When the door became too hot, Dr. Banfiend climbed back up stairs. He was exhausted when he got back to the dining room, but pleased that his brethren had reset the table, replaced the fallen food and refilled the wine decanters.

“Now that one was a disappointment.” He sat down and poured himself a glass of wine. “Does anyone know where his little brother was last seen?”

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If you enjoy my fiction, consider supporting me and other writers by buying one of the anthologies I am going to be published in. The first one, 100 Voices, can be pre-ordered  at bit.ly/100VoicesV1. Don’t forget to use the coupon code 100V86 save 10% and give me credit for the sale. Thank you!

Also – check out the story I just had published on The Flash Fiction Press: http://www.theflashfictionpress.org/2016/08/25/carpenter-demon-hunter-father/

©2016 Sara Codair

Micro Essay: Seasons

Seasons

By Sara Codair

The sky blooms with streaks of pink and purple, possibilities of endless nights sitting on the porch serenaded by peepers and crickets. The sky ignites my dreams of rowing and swimming under the blazing the sun. The sky promises romance and inspiration; ice cream and love. I hold his hand on the dock as the colors fade, yielding their territory to the stars.

The leaves change color and chills master the night. I’m planning a lesson while he scrambles to button up the house. He doesn’t want the pipes to freeze.

I’m back at work, teaching through the sunset, driving home in the dark.

 

© 2016 Sara Codair

Micro Fiction: Garden Wars

This piece of micro fiction has been hiding in various files on my hard drive, but I have finally wrangled it onto the internet were it can be seen by more than just lonly gigabytes.

Garden Wars

By  Sara Codair

The garden is city for faeries so small they’re invisible to the naked eye.

DSC_0683Scientist would be dumbfounded if they held their microscope here and saw the buzz of activity happening beneath the stems. There is a whole economy flourishing in the garden: The Allium Folk are trading pollen stock with the Peony People and warring with the Hydrangea Colony.

Last year, the Allium Folk lost a war the Lupine Ladies, but hope to gain some new territory from their inferior blue neighbors. The Hydrangea Colony may be wide, but its people are short and stunted. They have quite a few prisoners of war already, and might have conquered the whole bush, had it not been for the Fly Siege.

Thankfully, the Spider showed mercy and saved them from the dreaded flies. However, they must offer a sacrifice, or they will be his food tomorrow.

The blue prisoners will suit his needs just fine.

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©2016 Sara Codair